Sleeping by the Mississippi: Alec Soth’s revealing photographs of America's "third coast"

Alec Soth's critically acclaimed photographic series, Sleeping by the Mississippi, is to go on show at London's Beetles + Huxley this September. Evolving from a number of road trips along the Mississippi River between 1999 and 2002, Alec captures America's iconic yet often neglected "third coast", with its eclectic mix of individuals, landscapes, and interiors.

Like Robert Frank’s classic The Americans, Sleeping by the Mississippi merges a documentary style with poetic sensibility. The Mississippi is less the subject of the series than its organising structure. Not bound by a rigid concept or ideology, it's created out of a quintessentially American spirit of wanderlust.

Also available in a book, which was first published thirteen years ago and is available soon as a new edition from MACK, the artist’s lyrical view has undoubtedly acquired new meanings – ones in which hope, fear, desire and regret coalesce in the evocative journey along this mythic river.

Born and raised in Minneapolis, Alec Soth has published over twenty-five books including Sleeping by the Mississippi (2004), Niagara (2006) and Broken Manual (2010). Discover more at alecsoth.com. Or visit the show at Beetles + Huxley from 19 September until 21 October 2017.

Main image: New Orleans, Louisiana, 2002 © Alec Soth / Magnum Photos courtesy Sean Kelly Gallery, New York and Beetles + Huxley Gallery, London

Green Island, Iowa (Ball of String), 2002 © Alec Soth / Magnum Photos courtesy Sean Kelly Gallery, New York and Beetles + Huxley Gallery, London

Green Island, Iowa (Ball of String), 2002 © Alec Soth / Magnum Photos courtesy Sean Kelly Gallery, New York and Beetles + Huxley Gallery, London

Patrick, Palm Sunday, Baton Rouge, LA, 2002 © Alec Soth / Magnum Photos courtesy Sean Kelly Gallery, New York and Beetles + Huxley Gallery, London

Patrick, Palm Sunday, Baton Rouge, LA, 2002 © Alec Soth / Magnum Photos courtesy Sean Kelly Gallery, New York and Beetles + Huxley Gallery, London

Kym, Polish Palace, Minneapolis, MN, 2000 © Alec Soth / Magnum Photos courtesy Sean Kelly Gallery, New York and Beetles + Huxley Gallery, London

Kym, Polish Palace, Minneapolis, MN, 2000 © Alec Soth / Magnum Photos courtesy Sean Kelly Gallery, New York and Beetles + Huxley Gallery, London

Peter's Houseboat, Winona, MN, 2003 © Alec Soth / Magnum Photos courtesy Sean Kelly Gallery, New York and Beetles + Huxley Gallery, London

Peter's Houseboat, Winona, MN, 2003 © Alec Soth / Magnum Photos courtesy Sean Kelly Gallery, New York and Beetles + Huxley Gallery, London

Fort Jefferson Memorial Cross, 2002 © Alec Soth / Magnum Photos courtesy Sean Kelly Gallery, New York and Beetles + Huxley Gallery, London

Fort Jefferson Memorial Cross, 2002 © Alec Soth / Magnum Photos courtesy Sean Kelly Gallery, New York and Beetles + Huxley Gallery, London

Maiden Rock, Wisconsin, 2002 © Alec Soth / Magnum Photos courtesy Sean Kelly

Maiden Rock, Wisconsin, 2002 © Alec Soth / Magnum Photos courtesy Sean Kelly